Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Col. Marshall and the Dedicated Tree

Lawrence County News April 26, 1971 "Not many people live long enough to have a creation of nature named in their honor, but Col. James B. Marshall of Lawrenceville was accorded such an honor last Wednesday afternoon.
A beautifully shaped Norway maple tree will hereafter bear the name of "J. B. Marshall," and is located on the front lawn of Dowell's Florist's Greenhouse and the home of its owners, Mr. and Mrs. Pat E. Dowell, located on the corner of 19th St. and Lexington Avenue in Lawrenceville.
A special metal plaque, bearing the inscription: "J. B. Marshall, December 4, 1970," not only denotes the trees new name, but the date when Col. Marshall observed his 94th birthday. The plaque is mounted on the street side of the big maple, clearly visible to drivers by any time of day or night, being a luminous lettering and black background.
Col. Marshall has long been a lover of all nature subjects, and especially those which grow to become beautiful spots in this rather ugly world. His love of trees and flowers prompted Pat Dowell to rename the Norway maple in his honor, and Dowell's  inclination was strengthened by the honoree's great number of years and the "weathering of time" that both he and the 40-year-old tree have withstood.
"If more people would take an  interest in such things of nature as you", Austin Wood told Col. Marshall in a short dedication ceremony, "we wouldn't have the troubles with the pollution and other crimes against society as we have today."
Those present, close and longtime friends of Marshall,  also sanctioned the statement and expressed their congratulations to the honoree.
"About 20 years ago, the Norway maple was split in half during a terrific summer storm", Dowell said,detailing  the tree's history.  "It had always been a beautiful shaped tree - therefore I was sick when I saw it's condition after the storm. I thought awhile, then began searching for a way to save the injured plant. Finally I went to the telephone company and got a long, galvanized bolt, and with the assistance of the telephone winch truck we gathered up all the branches and winched  the trunk of the tree back together. I put the big bolt through the tree, about five or 6 feet up, to keep the water out of the new break. Today you can't tell where the bolt is but it is still in the trunk of the tree, but new bark and  annual growth has covered the pinning." The tree is approximately 40 years old.
Needless to say, the care for the Norway maple that Pat and Lela Dowell possess is the reason for its having grown into such a beautiful creation of nature.
Col. Marshall, humble in accepting the honor, thanked his benefactors, friends and gave thanks to the Lord that he has lived a long life in which to enjoy all His creations of nature. He is still quite active, and with his good eyesight, gets around to seeing many of the plants and trees now blooming throughout the area.
Austin Wood (far left) gave a short dedication speech, with the ladies being seated and  included in the audience. They are: Mrs. Pat (Lela Campbell) Dowell, center background with hand to face; Mrs. Kathryn Brooke, daughter of the honoree (in striped dress); Mrs. Kenny (Shirley Kaye) Kavanaugh, and daughter of the honoree, and Mrs. Cora Tanner (right foreground).